According to estimates based on a random survey, the province had some 79.54 million permanent residents by the end of 2003, a year-on-year increase of 956,400. The birth rate was 13.66‰ (up 0.37), death rate was 5.31‰ (up 0.23) resulting in a natural growth rate of 8.35‰ (up 0.14).
Fifty-three different ethnic groups live together in the province, with members of ethnic minority groups accounting for 0.7 percent of the population. The main minority ethnic groups are the Zhuang, Yao, She, Hui and Manchu.
The year 2003 saw some 27,900 graduate students enroll in the province’s universities and research institutes (up 29.6 percent on the previous year) and this figure included 11,600 new entrants (up 33 percent). 587,800 undergraduates enrolled in general universities (up 25.7 percent), including 225,800 new entrants (up 28.2 percent). 630,800 students enrolled in the various secondary vocational schools (up 3.1 percent), including 233,300 new entrants (up 7.0 percent). 1.137 million enrolled in the general senior secondary schools and 240,000 in the various secondary technical schools.
The 4.32 million students who enrolled in junior secondary schools meant the enrollment rate in that part of the educational system had reached 100 percent. The retention rate for students over their three years at junior secondary was 92.9 percent.
About 10.25 million pupils enrolled in primary schools representing a 99.5 percent enrollment rate and there was 100 percent retention over the five years of primary schooling.